New Orleans has always been known as the home of fascinating musical stories, like the tale of R&B singer Joe Jones and his disagreements with the singing group he managed for a while, the Dixie Cups. A court would eventually have to decide who held the rights to one of the group’s big hits, a song that has since become a New Orleans classic — and has also shown up on several soundtracks.
Jones was a rising star himself in the early 1960s, having struck gold with his “You Talk Too Much,” a record that climbed near the top of the charts. He decided to add managing to his resume when he ran across a local trio consisting of Joan Marie Johnson and her cousins, sisters Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins. The girls had gone through a couple of name changes, including Little Miss and the Muffets, before settling on the Dixie Cups.
Things went well for a while with the girls and their new manager. Moving to New York, they were able to work with Phil Spector and others, and soon hit the top of the charts with what would become their biggest hit, 1964’s “Chapel Of Love.” The group’s success would continue with several other records, including “People Say,” and eventually “Iko Iko,” the unusual Mardis Gras song that would be the bone of contention, long after Jones and the Dixie Cups had gone their separate ways.
The girls had come up with the song by reworking a traditional earlier song, “Jock-a-mo,” written by a guy named James Crawford, and after the song became a hit an agreement was reached with him to share in the royalties. But decades later Joe Jones and his family claimed rights to the song, and licensed its use to several parties. The Dixie Cups sued and won — then lost on appeal, but eventually prevailed.
Joe Jones – “You Talk Too Much”
One thought on “Joe Jones VS The Dixie Cups”
I HOPE THE THREE WOMEN HAVE A BETTER LIFE NOW THAT ALL THE LEGAL STUFF IS OVER (I HOPE). IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I HAVE SEEN THEM AND I REMEMBER WHAT SWEET AND LOVELY NEIGHBORS THEY WERE. I AM SURE THAT THE TRAUMA THAT THEY SUFFERED OVER THE YEARS HAS MADE THEM STRONGER AND DEFINITELY MORE STREET SAVVY. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE CUPS BACK TOGETHER AGAIN. IF THEY ARE THINKING OF GETTING BACK TOGETHER I WOULD LOVE TO PRODUCE A CD WITH THEM. THESE DAYS iTunes WOULD PROTECT THEIR ROYALTIES. THEIR LEGEND COULD CONTINUE IN A FINANCILY SOUND MANNER. EVEN TODAY, THERE ARE FEW GROUPS WITH THE QUALITY PITCH AND HARMONIES THE DIXIE CUPS HAD. TALENT LIKE THEIRS IS RARE AND REMEMBER BACK WHEN THEY RECORDED THERE WERE NO DIGITAL TOYS TO ENCHANCE THE TALENT, THEY WERE NATURALS.
THE LAST TIME WE SAW EACH OTHER WAS THE FAMOUS NIGHT IN 1965 WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN NEW YORK CITY. WHAT A PARTY! THE DIXIE CUPS, JOE JONES, DON COSTA & NEPHEWS, JOHNNY CYMBAL, SUSAN OAKES, AND A CHANGING CAST OF WESTERLY FOLKS. A CANDLELIT CORRIDOR ON THE SECOND FLOOR KEPT THE PARTY GOING ALL NIGHT. I HAVE BEEN OUT OF THE MUSIC BIZ FOR MANY YEARS AND I HAVE FOUND MANY PIECES OF MY MUSICAL FOOTPRINTS ON THE WEB THAT I HAVE DECIDED TO START PRODUCING AND PUBLISHING AGAIN. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE ARTISTS LIKE THE DIXIE CUPS AND MANY OF THE OTHER TALENTS WHO WERE ABUSED FINANCIALY COME BACK TO CLAIM THEIR PLACES IN THE BUILDING OF THE RECORD/MUSIC BUSINESS BUT THIS TIME MAKE THE MONEY THAT THEY OUGHT TO HAVE AND SHOULD HAVE HAD.
I JUST FINISHED A DEMO VIDEO FOR “LIKE HONEY” THE SISTER HALF OF “HONEY LTD” (Bob Hope Vietnam 1968 etc.). IT WAS A CHALLENGE DUE TO THE FACT THAT ALL THE MUSIC AND VIDEO CLIPS WERE SHOT LIVE WITH NO CONNECTION TO A MIXING BOARD. THE SLIWIN SISTERS HAVE THE HARMONY THAT ALLOWED THEIR TALENTS TO BREAK THROUGH THE SOUND BARRIER OF WIND AND BAD ACOUSTICS. IT WOULD BE INCREDIBLE TO RECORD “LIKE HONEY” AND THE “DIXIE CUPS” TOGETHER. THE RESULT COULD JUST BE ONE OF THE BEST FEMALE GROUP CDs OFFERING VOICES AND HARMONIES THAT RECAPTURES THE WARMTH, SOUL, AND MELODY OF THE GOLDEN OLDIES ERA TOPPED OFF WITH A NEW SOUND THAT WOULD BE HISTORIC.